Monday, March 30, 2015

Get To Know : The Face Behind The Artsy Craftsy Blog (Shia Lynn Toh, Creative Blogger)

We are sure you've seen her blog. 

She plays a big role in our creative, craft and handmade scene in Malaysia after all.

Meet Shia Lynn Toh, the face behind The Artsy Craftsy Blog.

Shia Lynn Toh, the founder of the blog - The Artsy Craftsy.

When I contacted Shia Lynn asking if she'd like to be a part of our creative project, I didn't know what to expect. However, as soon as I received a reply, we click almost instantly.

Thrilled by her humility and her passion for creativity, we wasted no time and got down to scheduling for a photoshoot & interview session at our new studio. And when the day finally arrived, I was greeted by a cheerful hello and everything else just fall into place, naturally.

We got to know each other, the Malaysia handmade & craft scene and even gotten to Shia Lynn's story, how she started and where she'd be heading towards.


Now, before I jot down about the interview itself, let me just describe to you what I feel around Shia Lynn and what do I see in this budding friendship I just build.

Prior to our session, I know of Shia Lynn & I know of her blog, The Artsy Craftsy.

I also know that she is a self-taught artist and she have a great knowledge on colors. From a quick check on our FB chat, we did talk years before we finally converse with each other in person. I remember her being a friendly and sweet lady, very kind too. 

When we met, those traits I mention earlier indeed are all apart of her, but I also got to know much more, and I got so fond of her (and her supportive boyfriend, Justin) even before we got to our interview. If there is one word for me to describe Shia Lynn, the word would be real. 

Real.

Judging by the short amount of time we got to know one another, I felt no pretense as she talks, laugh and share about herself, her background and everything else we got to chat about. She's open to all topics and she talks about the sweet stuff, but also the...well, not-so-sweet stuff.

But we'll get to that part later..

Shia Lynn and her self portrait painting.
During our shoot, I got the honor to view one of her painting, a self portrait of her outer and inner self. The outer glamorous, the inner spiritual. The colors and details are simply beautiful.

The self portrait, in my view, did reflect her as a person. 

On the outside, everyone see her as the creative blogger, the person behind the well known The Artsy Craftsy Blog, which have an active traffic of 200k plus, selected as Top 10 blog for content category at the DiGi Wwwow awards 2014. 

While those are all true, what she truly enjoy at the end of the day, is the little things in life. As we converse, she reveals her love for nature and art, to express herself through yoga, handmade creations, and discovering beauty in everyday life.


During our interview session, we talk about how she got into the creative scene in Malaysia.

 I came to know that Shia Lynn started as a self-taught designer and soon got her name around, landing herself with many clients that engage her for her drawings and painting - mostly on gowns. She was growing well as a budding artist, until one of her major client decided to tell her otherwise. 

Shia Lynn mention this major client for a couple of times throughout the session and my curiosity rise as I carefully ask if she could share the details, to which Shia Lynn smiles and shares openly. 

She talks about how she got introduced to the client, a lady who owns a boutique and engages Shia Lynn for hand paintings on gowns, and how everything went well in the beginning until a day came that the client changes attitude and start insulting and talking down of her paintings and price. (At that time, around year 2005, Shia Lynn earns about RM800 and more for each gown.)

Things start going downhill between them, and soon young Shia Lynn decided to call their work relation off, putting down everything she build up till then along with it and stop creating for a long period of time.

Shia Lynn smile after the story and then continue 'But you know what is funny? The same lady contacted me again recently. Asking me to design for her once again.' 

She never went back, because now Shia Lynn understands her own value and that no one can ever put her down.

When I ask her what she would share to the individuals that wish to start up in the creative scene and she answers without a doubt ;

 'Never sell yourself short. If there is a customer that is demotivating, it is just that one person view. Continue believing what you believe. Never stop including creativity into your life. My mentor once told me to do what you love, the money will come eventually.'

However, Shia Lynn also believe that whatever happened was meant to happen, and that is how she came around to starting the blog we are all familiar with now, The Artsy Craftsy.


 The Artsy Craftsy was born because Shia Lynn could not find a creative & art lifestyle blog in Malaysia at that time. And going through what she have went through, she was determined to become a platform that can assist creative individuals to further promote themselves and the whole craft community. 

'I've talked to many crafters and designers, and I feel what they feel when they share with me their challenges in this field. I want to be a platform for them.'

On how she got back up after she stop creating, she shares that 'I came to realize that I left art, but art never left me.' Pressing on her point, she further talk about how she believes that creativity is similar to life itself. 'Love yourself first, so people love you.'.

Asking the passionate blogger what she have plan in store for us for the year 2015, her eyes lit up as she shares some of her handmade merchandise and talks about how she will be providing them in The Artsy Craftsy. Some of which includes self design tees, creative muse cards and unique handmade jewelries. Now we know what to look forward to ;)


Coming back to the craft scene, we talk about how she find Supplies Surprise! Bazaar and what the bazaar could improve on. Having visited the bazaar once herself, she recalls how excited she felt when she know a craft supplies bazaar is going to be held in Malaysia.

'I remember being very excited' she said, 

'I remember thinking to myself how it is the first craft supplies bazaar in Malaysia, it is a great idea because these are materials that we can utilize and to make our imagination come to life. When I came, the vendors are all very helpful and friendly and it is definitely a great experience to be able to touch and feels the materials and to get to know the faces behind the shops.'

When being asked to describe herself in three traits, she ponder before she laughs and mention it's a hard question because no one ask her that before.Still thinking, she decided ;

'Intuitive, Intricate & Passionate.'

Shia Lynn, a creative individual, a kind soul, a beautiful person inside out. Always holding her hands out to help, always open to people, always humble and learning.

Meet Shia Lynn Toh, someone more than just a creative blogger.


Links :

2 comments:

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